Should I Get Clavicle Lengthening Instead of Deltoid Implants?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I’m wondering do you think in my case clavicle lengthening should be considered since I’ve had this issue with the loss of my deltoid implants? I think I have come to realize that if I do get deltoid implants again they would need to be smaller than what I used to have. Or have nothing at all if the clavicle could give me a decent change. I’m unsure how much width I could get with the clavicle lengthening.  What I do find is that my natural shoulders are naturally square which is the look I’m after. It just lacks muscle however my clavicle at the same time is very narrow in the interior. So I’m unsure if one should be addressed first over the other.  I’ve had a clean track record with prior body implants but not with the shoulders. If you find this procedure is too invasive or has long term problems I’ll take your word for it as I know it is not commonly requested. 

A: While you have had problems with your deltoid implants, I am not certain I would resort to clavicular lengthening. Unlike clavicular reduction where a bone segment is removed and primary bone healing occurs, clavicular lengthening requires the insertion of a bone graft which takes much longer to heal and has a higher risk of plate/bone fracture during the recovery process. When you factor in that is done to both clavicles the recovery process becomes much more challenging and not a surgery to entertain lightly. I think better deltoid implant selection (smaller and better shaped) would be a more appropriate solution to your shoulder width concerns

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana